Friday, July 14, 2017

Henri Dutilleux - Orchestral Works (Yan Pascal Tortelier)


Composer: Henri Dutilleux

  • (01-04) Symphony No. 1
  • (05-07) Symphony No. 2 'Le Double'
  • (01-07) L'Arbre des songes
  • (08-09) Two Sonnets by Jean Cassou
  • (10-12) Timbres, espaces, mouvement avec interlude
  • (13) Prière pour nous autres charnels (composed by Jehan Alain, orch. Dutilleux)
  • (01-05) Métaboles
  • (06-10) Tout un monde lointain
  • (11-20) Mystère de l'instant
  • (01-06) The Shadows of Time

Olivier Charlier, violin (L'Arbre des songes)
Neal Davies, baritone (Two Sonnets by Jean Cassou)
Boris Pergamenschikow, cello (Tout un monde lointain)
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor

Recording Date: 1992-1998
Compilation: 2000
Label: Chandos




This boxed set of Tortelier’s three previously issued Dutilleux CDs contains a bonus disc in the form of a new recording of the composer’s latest work, The Shadows of Time. It’s a good thing Chandos got it down. God only knows how long Seiji Ozawa’s premiere version, an Erato CD “single”, will remain available, assuming that it’s still around even now. Tortelier’s performance of this and all of these works leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. He captures the magic of Dutilleux’s impressionistic sound world while at the same time never losing sight of each work’s long-term tonal goal. This pays dividends both in the two concertos, whose dreamier passages, absent a firm controlling hand from the podium, can tempt the soloists to meander a bit, and in the more highly structured variations of Métaboles.

Perhaps the first disc, containing the two symphonies, stands out most, if only because these two sensational works have been around for a while and have yet to be fully appreciated and played as often as they deserve. Then there’s the only available performance of the large orchestra version of Mystère de l’instant–but in the final analysis all of the music here belongs among the finest creations of the 20th century, and we can only hope that this painstaking perfectionist now entering his mid 80s keeps on adding to his select family of works. The recorded sound is fully worthy of the excellence of the performances. [12/14/2000]

-- David HurwitzClassicsToday

More reviews:



Henri Dutilleux (2 January 1916 – 22 May 2013) was a French composer active mainly in the second half of the 20th century. His work, which garnered international acclaim, followed in the tradition of Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, and Albert Roussel, but in an idiosyncratic style. Some of his notable compositions include a piano sonata, two symphonies, a cello concerto, a violin concerto and a string quartet. Some of these are regarded as masterpieces of 20th-century classical music. A perfectionist with a strong sense of artistic integrity, he allowed only a small number of his works to be published and often repeatedly revised them.


Yan Pascal Tortelier (born 19 April 1947) is a French conductor and violinist, and is the son of the cellist Paul Tortelier. He was principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra (1989-1992), the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (1992-2003), Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (OSESP) (2009-2011) and currently, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. He is a regular recording artist for Chandos Records, and has conducted commercial recordings for Chandos with the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the OSESP.


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  2. Greetings from Rennes,

    Glad to get the oppurtunity to listen to these interpretitions. I have several others. Be curious about. I just wonder how 4 CD's, also not full to the edge, can end up to weight 734 Mo ???

    Many Thanks

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog. About your question, I'm afraid that I don't fully understand. 734 MB for 4 discs, is it too much or too little?